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Orioles-Rays Preview

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The Baltimore Orioles have dropped five straight to the Tampa Bay Rays and now have to face Matt Moore coming off his first defeat.

Moore looks to get back on track and help the Rays complete their first three-game home sweep of the Orioles in five years Sunday.

Tampa Bay (34-27), which swept three at Baltimore from May 17-19, has gotten outstanding starting pitching in taking the first two games of this set.

Chris Archer yielded one run over seven innings in a 2-1 victory Friday and Jeremy Hellickson cruised through six innings Saturday in an 8-0 rout. Major league home run leader Chris Davis, 0 for 7 with four strikeouts in the series, homered in all three games while going 7 for 11 in a season-opening set between the teams at Tropicana Field.

Davis might still be stuck on 20 homers after Sunday as he is 2 for 10 with no home runs against Moore (9-1, 2.95 ERA).

"(Sunday) is going to be a real challenge for us," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We'll show up, and I've got a lot of confidence in good people.''

Moore allowed six runs with six walks over two-plus innings in a 10-1 loss at Detroit on Tuesday. That is his shortest career start, not counting a one-inning stint he had May 31 in Cleveland that was cut short by rain.

The left-hander, 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in five home starts, entered that contest leading the majors in opponents' batting average at .178.

Moore has gone 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in two starts against Baltimore this year. Adam Jones is 3 for 6 with the only homer off him in those games while Davis is 1 for 6 and J.J. Hardy 0 for 5.

The Rays last swept three at home from the Orioles (34-28) from Aug. 29-31, 2008.

Tampa Bay has won 10 of 13 and looks to hand Chris Tillman (5-2, 3.97) his first road defeat. Tillman is 4-0 with a 2.30 ERA in five road outings.

The right-hander, however, has posted a 5.73 ERA and surrendered four homers in losing twice to the Rays this year - both at home. He's 0-2 with a 3.18 ERA in three career outings at Tampa Bay.

Ben Zobrist is a .167 hitter against Tillman while Evan Longoria is 8 for 18 with three homers in the matchup. Zobrist is 4 for 8 with two doubles in this series.

The Rays got plenty of offense from the bottom third of their lineup Saturday to move one-half game ahead of the Orioles in the AL East. Luke Scott, Jose Lobaton and Yunel Escobar combined for seven hits and five RBIs.

"Of course you notice the teams in front of you, but you've got to be focused on what you're doing," manager Joe Maddon said. "The process will take care of itself.''

Tagged: Orioles, Rays, Chris Davis, Chris Tillman

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